A dog who was left in a horsebox “as hot as an oven” on a scorching day last summer died despite the best efforts of his rescuers.
Ian Cockley-Adams, of Sevenhampton, Cheltenham, left his two crossbred collies Wade and Dec in the lorry during an equestrian event at Euston Hall on 18 June 2017.
Passers-by were alerted to the dogs’ plight in the afternoon, when barking was heard from inside. Security staff found Dec “panting and dehydrated”, while Wade was “collapsed and unresponsive”. Despite immediate veterinary treatment, Wade’s condition deteriorated and was put to sleep “to prevent him suffering further”.
The horsebox felt as “hot as an oven” when it was opened, and rescuers saw scratches on its interior.
Cockley-Adams, 57, was found guilty of two charges after a two-day trial at Ipswich Magistrates’ court on 15 and 16 May.
He was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to Wade by confining him in an environment detrimental to his wellbeing, which led to his death, and of failing to meet the welfare needs of Wade and Dec by not ensuring their need for a suitable environment by confining them in a motor vehicle on a hot summer day.
Magistrates said they accepted this was not a deliberate act but the defendant should have known what the outcome was likely to be. He was fined a total of £1,750, ordered to pay costs of £1,582.23 and a £105 victim surcharge and banned from keeping or owing dogs for three years.
“The dogs had been left in a horsebox in direct sunlight on a particularly hot day,” said RSPCA inspector Thea Kerrison after the case.
“The suffering experienced by poor Wade was so easily avoidable and that is what makes this case so sad.
“Throughout the summer last year, the RSPCA received thousands of calls across the country regarding the concern of dogs being put in perilously dangerous situations by being left in hot cars.
“We hope that this case sends out a clear message that leaving a dog in a hot vehicle will not be tolerated by the courts.
“Sadly Wade’s death could have been easily avoided had the owner adhered to this simple advice.
“The RSPCA and other charities and organisations joined forces last year to raise awareness among the general public that it is never acceptable to leave a dog in a hot vehicle, as part of its annual Dogs Die in Hot Cars campaign. There are still too many instances where animals are left in sweltering cars, caravans and conservatories and tragically some of them have deadly consequences.
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“We would also like to remind people to call 999 to report a dog in the hot car to the police, because as a charity, the RSPCA may not be able to attend quickly enough, and, with no powers of entry, we need police assistance at such an incident.”
For more information on what to do if you see a dog in a hot vehicle, visit the RSPCA website.
H&H has attempted to contact Mr Cockley-Adams.
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